So at last London gets a grandmaster chess tournament worthy of a great city. The London Chess Classic got underway today and the drawing of lots brought together the two tournament favourites, Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik in the first round.
Carlsen (pictured) had the advantage of the white pieces and did not disappoint his fans. Appropriately enough, given the venue, he ventured the English opening. A few slight inaccuracies from Kramnik as the first time control drew near were enough to cost him the game.
Hikaru Nakamura searched in vain for a win in a rook ending against Nia Hua, but Chinese champion held on for a draw. David Howell versus Michael Adams was a well balanced draw, but spectators certainly got their money's worth with the final game to finish. Luke McShane ground down Nigel Short in an astonishing marathon lasting 163 moves and nearly eight hours!